Sunday, June 25, 2006

A matter of timing

While occasional mortar shots come into the base, many times they are just a one-shot deal and are over before we even knew about them. Last night, however, there were several in a row, and we were supposed to be in shelters for an extended period. In a horribly ironic sense of timing, I was using the latrine facilities at the time. That would be just my luck... if I ever get hit by a mortar, it will probably be in a compromising position like that. Anyway, as usual nothing really happened and it's back to business as usual. It's a new moon tonight. I haven't really been tracking moon phases, but since there are very few street lights on the base, it's very noticeable when it gets really dark. In the parlance of the weather people, "0% illumination." It's quite a contrast to the full moon, which seems so bright that the sky never really gets black, instead turning a deep shade of blue. One good thing about the dark new moon sky is that it makes for nice stargazing. Today's picture is the stop sign at the intersection between my office and the DFAC. I can't read the arabic letters but I'm told they are pronounced like the word "cough." If I ever have to tell someone to "cough" I'm probably in some trouble. You'll also see the street signs next to it. Obviously those were invented by Americans as we adapted the base to our uses. The main streets that run up and down the base are named for states. My office is on Alabama. My hooch is on Pennsylvania Avenue. I wonder how close my "white house" address is to 1600...

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